Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Salpicon- YUM!

A friend asked for my Salpicon recipe as I shared some with her the last time I made it. It is such a big hit every time I make it, I figured I'd share it with the blogging world. This recipe really comes from my sister in law Tay who lives in El Paso and has some really great Authentic Mexican recipes.

When I was pregnant with Hadley, we had our yearly El Paso trip and Tay made Salpicon for us the night we got there.It was then and there that I fell in LOVE. We were there for four days and I ate Salpicon the first night and at three other restaurants on a four day trip! It was quite the pregnancy craving while I was there. Frank and I have always loved mexican food and especially authentic mexican. It makes a bunch of food, so invite people over or get ready for a ton of leftovers!

This is a hit with everyone. Enjoy! :)

3 pounds brisket

2 onions, 1 halved, 1 chopped

1 large carrot, quartered

1 stalk celery, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 12-ounce can whole tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large tomato, chopped

2 4-ounce cans chopped green chili's

¼ cup light olive oil

¼ cup vinegar

½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, cut in ¼-inch cubes (I used shredded)

2 large avocados, sliced lengthwise

1 bottle of French dressing (we don't usually use unless we make it a salad)

Oven 325 degrees ( I cook mine on the stove all day....takes longer than 4 hours to get tender enough to shred)

Place brisket in heavy pot and cover with water. Add halved onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ½ cup chopped cilantro, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook in oven approximately 4 hours until very tender (Or on the stove for most the day), Remove brisket from liquid, cool slightly and shred thoroughly with a fork. In large bowl, combine shredded beef, chopped onion, chopped tomato, remaining cilantro, green chili's, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let cool in refrigerator at least 4 hours. Before serving, toss with cheese and turn into a decorative bowl. Garnish with sliced avocado. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, pinto beans and guacamole or tossed green salad.

Serves 15

** We use some of the leftovers for breakfast tacos with eggs in the morning. :)

Cookies for Breakfast??

So, there was nothing on t.v. the other night and I ran across sneaky television. It was one recipe after another of the sneaky chef. I don't own her book, but do own Deceptively Delicious, which I later found out was a copy cat version of The Sneaky Chef. Anyway, haven't really cooked from the cookbook, but I was intrigued with a Sneaky Chef recipe I saw her make on television the other night. So while I was at the store, I picked up a few extra ingredients and made the cookies last night. Guess what the kids had for breakfast?? COOKIES!! And they loved them. They each ate four cookies and begged for me to make them again. A few of you asked for the recipe, so here it is:

Makes 16 to 18 large cookies
Nutrition Highlights: whole grains, calcium, and protein. Rich in vitamins B and E, iron, potassium, folic acid, calcium, tryptophan, protein, and fiber.

2 cups whole grain cereal flakes (such as Wheaties or Total)
3/4 cup Flour Blend (equal parts whole wheat flour, white flour, and wheat germ)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
Cinnamon sugar for dusting (I used sugar crystals and cinnamon for some crunch)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with oil).

2. Using a rolling pin, gently crush the cereal (in a sealed plastic bag) into coarsely crushed flakes. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse the cereal in a food processor.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Flour Blend, crushed cereal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, oil, vanilla, and ricotta cheese. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just enough to moisten dry ingredients. Drop single tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between cookies. Flatten cookies with the back of a fork and then sprinkle tops generously with cinnamon sugar (or just sugar if your kids don't like the cinnamon flavor). Bake about 18 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy around the edges.


Monday, September 21, 2009

First Day of Preschool..

I had signed Hadley up for Preschool last Spring, but then withdrew her and Ellie when the Birmingham move came up. I re-enrolled her in Bham and even paid first and last month tuition there for her. I was sure she would love school. When our house fell through, her spot had been filled here so she was put on a waiting list.
I had met the teachers and they seemed really nice but as soon as they called last week and said there was an opening, my heart sank. I was sad at the thought of not having my girl with me. She could have started last week, but I was uncertain and she did have a runny nose so I kept her home and changed my mind every other second. One hour I couldn't stand the thought of her gone, the next as she was throwing a tantrum in Target, School was the best option. LOL. I thought it would be fun for her to go play with other kids instead of running errands with me, but then part of me thinks she is still so little and needs to stay home with me.
She is my youngest to ever start preschool. Ellie started when she was 2 and Gavin started at 21 months. Gavin was in her same class and it was the best thing we ever did for him. He was a late talker and he really blossomed that year and made friends that he is still really close with. He met his best friends in that class. But, Hadley- sweet ol' Hadley. Lately I have been thinking that maybe I am really good with three kiddos. Maybe I really don't want a forth. Things are easy now, we've got the hang of it, a forth may rock our world. So IF she is my last, my baby, it is hard to let her go.
But, after talking over and over with Frank about it, we decided to try it out today. I sent her and she did great. As I was signing her in, she leaned out of my arms to her teacher. I think with her dropping Ellie and Gavin off all of last year with me, and Ellie this year, she was excited. She always says "play, play" when we drop Ellie off. She always wants to stay and play. It is a little different though in her class as a lot of the kids are crying. I really don't want to send her for just a "babysitter" so I can get things done. I want her to go because she really likes it. I think she will enjoy doing the crafts, singing and playing with other kids her age. That has to be much more fun than running around with Mommy, right? So, I guess we'll see how it goes. See if she really loves it the next few times I bring her. If not, you will be seeing a withdraw post. But, for now, here is Hadley's first day of Preschool. I must say, she did great- even slept on her nap mat at nap time. I think preschool for her is rougher on Mom.

Before leaving.. (My lens was fogged..darn it)..
Her and her sweet teachers:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Roberts Visit

We had a great weekend. Tayton and Scott flew in last Thursday night for Scott's ten year reunion. We didn't get to see all of them as much as we'd like, but it was fun seeing them. We had lunch Friday and had everyone over for the Texan's game today. Robert slept a lot, and we enjoyed snuggling him. :) He is a snuggly little guy. And of course we had to get the family shot with him before they left today.


Ellie spent the night at her cousin Maddie's House Friday night and had a blast. She thought she was such a BIG girl and was really excited that Maddie had called to invite her over. She had so much fun that she didn't want to call Frank and I before bed. Apparently she thought if she called that meant we would come get her. She is definitely our little independent one!! Here are a few pics from her big night out! Thanks for having her over Laura and Christian- she had a great time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I just witnessed something great in my little world. For those of you who hated me when Ellie potty trained herself...well.... get ready to hate me again. ;0) Many of you know that Ellie started potty training herself around 18 months. I never tried to train her, one day I just found her naked on the potty and she was going- and well, she kept it up and pretty much trained herself- I actually wasn't ready for her to be trained when she started doing it. Well, I most definitely did not think that would happen again. And as I write this I am probably getting ahead of myself by thinking Hadley will train herself, but I can say what I just saw made me awfully hopeful.
I was doing some target shopping today when I saw this cute little froggie potty. I haven't started potty training Hadley yet, she is only 18 months. But I though, heck- why not get a new potty and just put it out. She really liked the froggie potty when I showed her so it made it's way into my cart along with other things that weren't on the list- but that's another story and how target shopping goes, right? So, I run errands all day and forgot about it. Tonight I brought it out of the car, opened it, and put it on the kitchen floor. I was debating if I was going to keep it or not so wanted to check it out and take it out of it's packaging. (I know some of you are laughing because I tend to buy and return a lot). I thought it was cute and put it on the floor. Well, we woke Hadley up around 6pm for dinner and Frank casually pointed it out to her and said, "pooh-pooh and pee-pee." She just looked at him and went on to eat her dinner. We had all finished dinner and she says, "pooh-pooh" and points at the potty. We laughed and then Frank thought she wanted on the potty. I thought she was just repeating what he had said earlier, like telling us, "that's where you pooh-pooh." But Frank took her diaper off and put her on and low and behold- WE HAD POOP in the potty. Seriously?!? I was shocked, Frank was shocked. I started singing a poop song I used to sing to Gavin and she started dancing. Then she points at her poop and says, "Poop, YUCKY!" It was pretty funny. I am hoping and praying that I will have another child that decides she wants to potty on the potty without me having to help a whole lot. Ahhh...that would be dreamy!! For now, we have one poop down!! Woo-hoo!! Way to go my little Momma!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009


The poor third child. When Gavin and Ellie were Hadley's age they had both done a year of gymnastics and kindermusik. Poor little Hadley is just getting her first class. She started today and I had such a fun time with her. I loved just watching her interact, and being a little 18 month old. It's been awhile since we've had one on one time and it has been fun. I wish I could get some more one on one time with each of them, it is just hard when you have three.
Hadley loves Music. She is that child that when she hears music come on, she drops everything and runs to where it is coming from and starts dancing. She also tries to sing songs. I knew she would love, love, love Kindermusik today. She was dancing, doing her shoulder "shruggies", clapping, and trying to get into all the musical instruments after they were put away. And this kid is not shy at all. She will go to anyone. Guess that's what happens when you are the third. So as soon as the teacher brought out a book, it was no surprise that she ran up to her and sat on her lap. And one of my sweet friends and her son joined our class with us, so Hadley had an instant friend while we were there! She loved her class and I can honestly say that we are BOTH looking forward to going back.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Ellie went back to preschool today. She was pumped to be starting again and getting to be with all her friends at the same school she's been at for the last two years. This year she is a big ol' Pre-K-er. That's right, one more year until Kindergarten. Well, it should be one more year by her age anyway. But, since she JUST turned 4 and is an August baby we will be putting her in a transition class somewhere next year. Okay, I'll admit it....it is more for selfish reasons to why I won't start her in Kindergarten next year. Academically, she'll be more than ready, but I am not ready. And a two year spacing between all three kiddo's sounds much better than a 1 and 3 year spacing in school, right? If I hold her back she will get to stay home with me another year and that is one more year that I will get with her before she leaves me and goes off to college. And she will be the oldest in her class instead of the youngest. So, even though this is her last Preschool year, she will still have another year before Kindergarten.

She loves her school, and loves her class. She's been ready to go back for a few weeks now. I think she is disappointed that she doesn't have school tomorrow. :0)

She has her three best little girlfriends in her class again this year, and we are looking forward to another great year!!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sweet Hearts and Moments I want to remember....

I can't believe I forgot to post this story a few weeks ago, but I was reminded of it again yesterday.

The night before school started for Gavin I read him a few back to school books like I always do. The one in particular that I love is "The Kissing Hand." It is about a baby raccoon who doesn't want to go to school, but the Momma raccoon tells him a secret. She kisses his hand and says when you miss me, remember this kiss and how it warms your heart. It can never be washed off, it is always there. So she tells her little raccoon to think of her kiss on his hand when he needs her. So, I proceed to grab Gavin's hand and kiss it and as soon as I do he grabs mine, unravels my fingers and kisses mine too. He is such a sweet boy. I just HUGGED him tight and the tears started flowing. I hugged him for a bit as I didn't want him to know I was upset. I didn't want him worrying about me missing him while he was at his first day of school. And that is the kind of boy he is. He would worry if he thought I was sad. And that is also why I was thankful that I didn't bat a tear until walking out of his classroom that first day.

So fast forward to this past Thursday. I was running to school because Mommy forgot to put an animal in his backpack that he wanted to bring. So I drop the stuffed monkey off and then got in my car to leave when I notice his class was at recess. My heart broke into a million little pieces when I saw him walking around the playground with his chin on his chest, looking at the ground, walking around by himself. I stopped and watched for a few minutes, I just knew he was crying. He wasn't, but he sure looked that sad. And my boy is hardly ever like that. IT BROKE MY HEART. Totally Broke it. This is my social, loving life, has a ton of friends kid. He got home that day and I asked how his day was, and he smiled and said he loved school. I asked who he played with or talked to, and he tells me, "I pretty much just talk to my teacher." Then I asked who he played with and he said, "No one really wanted to play with me." What? Who wouldn't want to play with my sweet, loving, little man? I asked him, "Does that make you sad?" And he said, "No, remember the hand mom?? Your kiss can't wash off? I remember that and I am not sad."

I just love this boy. He has such a sweet heart.

(And in case you are wondering, we talked about how to ask a friend to play at recess and Friday went much better. He also met a little boy down the street who is in Kindergarten, that we had never met and they have a recess play date set for next week!! I think it's hard going somewhere new and not having the same friends in your class that he's had for the last few years. I am sure in no time he will be the little socialite he's always been.)

And another sweet story...

Ellie walks Frank to his car every morning before work. She loves walking Daddy to his car and on rare occasion when he leaves before she wakes up, she is hysterical because she didn't get to say goodbye to Daddy. Well, yesterday as she walked him to the car she said, "Daddy, I love you sooooo much. Aren't you soooooo excited?? It's almost the weekend baby and you get to play with me alllllll day!" She sure does love her Daddy!! And with comments like that, is it no wonder she has Daddy wrapped around her little finger!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Gavin has been so excited to start school and get HOMEWORK. I'm sure as he gets older this won't be the case. But tonight I was asked to help him fill in the blanks about himself. I didn't prompt him, just let him tell me what he wanted to. Here's how it ended up:

My name is Gavin.
I am 5 years old.
My favorite color is green.
My favorite food is McDonalds and Broccoli.
What I like best about me is I feel special because God sent me to this Earth.
My favorite television show is the U.S. Open Tennis.
When I grow up, I want to be a Policeman so I can never get arrested.

Gosh, I love this boy!! I miss my little man being home with me! But he sure is loving school!

My Baby All Grown Up

Gavin started Kindergarten last week. I registered him the day before school started and he was SUPER excited to be going to the school that I used to teach at. He was even lucky enough to get one of my closest friends, that I had worked with when I was there, as his Kindergarten teacher. And he is IN LOVE with her. He was also excited that the only other person he knew going to his school ended up in his class. He loves Lily Belle and has known her since she was born.
He was not scared at all the first day, only Mommy cried. I was able to hold it together until I walked out of the classroom, but then the tears started flowing. Luckily for sunglasses on the way out, I don't think too many people noticed.
He thinks he is THE MAN now. He was begging me to ride the bus and after a few days of battling the car line for 25 minutes and Hadley NOT napping, I decided he could give it a try with the other neighborhood Kindergartners. He was stoked. I was a little sad though when he seemed embarrassed to give me a kiss before getting on. What? Already?? Whaaa.
But he did great, loved the bus. His only complaint was that his teacher does car rider duty and he missed seeing her at the end of the day when he rode the bus. So he wants to switch it up a bit and be a car rider every now and again. He is also very eager to ride his bike to school. One day when my sleepy head Hadley decides to wake up early, we will give that a go. As for now, he is eager to get homework, makes sure we read every night and log it, and anxious to tell us all about his day. We hear the run down of everything, even the stories they read in class word for word (or as close as he can remember it). The kid LOVES school. That has always been my wish for my kids, and I am so happy he loves it. I hope he always will. My little man is growing up. Please time...slowwwwww down.

Once Again...Things Change..

Where do I begin?? Hard to sum up the last few weeks, other than they have been crazy, chaotic, and just plain nuts. We flew to Birmingham a few weeks ago and found a house. It wasn't our "dream" house, but it was in a great little neighborhood called Liberty Park. We fell in love with the neighborhood and one house in particular seemed to be the one as there were kids our kids age all over the place. The school was very impressive, and the girls both got into a preschool that seemed amazing. Everything was falling into place. We did the usual song and dance that you do when buying a home...the offer, counter, offer, counter thing and agreed on a price. And they agreed to rent to us for a few weeks until we closed on our home here which allowed us to go there right away.
However when we got home things happened and our house contract here fell through. Gavin was already a few weeks behind in school there, and we decided it was best to start him here. So, that is the gist of it. This all happened 4 days before we were planning on moving there. Life is crazy sometimes, huh? But I must admit it is good to have some sort of normalcy again. We have been so high stress lately and on the go, that it is good to just get back into the routine of things. So that is what's new in our little world. Life changes when you least expect it, once again.